LOCKDOWN SONG - ED LAWRENCE
Girls and Boys in Victorian Mines
Children as young as five years old worked at jobs that were dangerous and exhausting, usually in total darkness for up to twelve hours at a time.
Children employed as a Trapper kept the airflow going in the mine to stop the build-up of dangerous gases. The trapper was often the youngest member of all the family working underground and their job was to open and close wooden trap doors allowing fresh air to flow through the mine.
Children who were employed as Putters (or Drawers) dragged or pushed truckloads full of mined coal from the face to the surface, many times during their shift, and older children operated the mine shaft pulleys.
Many accidents in shafts were caused by rope or chain breakages, and fires, explosions and roof falls killed large numbers of workers.
The 1842 Mines and Collieries Act forbade women and girls of any age to work underground, and introduced a minimum age of 10 years for boys to be employed underground
Pit Brow Girl